All Articles, Alvar Aalto, Mid-Century Modern Designers

10 awesome creations by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto

•    The Savoy Vase.  This glassware design is an unconventional looking vase that appears as if four simple drinking glasses have been melded into one misshapen glass.  It comes in a variety of colors and sizes.

•    The Stool 60.  Constructed from birch, this three-legged stool is designed with the most minimal of aesthetics. Its legs have a small bend near the seat that is shaped like the letter “L”.  The style that Aalto incorporated into this design is a part of the Functionalist Movement.

•    The Paimio Armchair 41.  This chair was designed for the Paimio Sanatorium medical building.  The design focuses on curvature with the thin, plywood seat and back of the chair curving into the shape of a scroll.  The frames that hold the seat are molded into a polygonal shape where the back, bottom, and top of the frames are rectangular in appearance, and the front of the frames bend inwards.  

•    The Beehive Ceiling Lamp.  This lamp consists of several layers of matte white steel.  There are also shiny accents made from brass or chrome underneath each matte layer.   It was conceived in the 1950s during Aalto’s “experimental” phase in his career.

•    The Tea Cart 900.  At the Paris World Fair in the year 1937, Aalto showcased a teacart that captured the attention and hearts of the attendants.  The cart consists of a small basket weaved from the finest cane, a large tray designed with ceramic tiles covering the surface, and smooth, lightweight plastic wheels.  

•    The Chair 611.  As a representation of the modernist style, this chair was one of the first furniture pieces designed by Aalto.  The back and seat of the chair are held together with a linen fabric that is webbed appearance.  The legs and frames that hold the webbed linen together are crafted from the finest birch.

•    The Pendant Ceiling Lamp.  This is a minimally designed ceiling light that is cylindrical in appearance.  There are two cylinders:  one long and narrow cylinder that makes up the top portion of the lamp, and one short and wide cylinder that is the lamp’s bottom.  It comes in both black and while and is made from aluminum and brass.

•    Aalto Stainless Steel Bowl.  A 7-inch bowl that is designed with Aalto’s trademark curvature.  It is shaped with four wavy sides that sink down to a flat bottom to give the bowl a basin-like appearance.  

•    The 66 High Back Chair.  This is a chair intended for dinner tables.  Made of smooth birch, the back of the chair is rectangular with rounded corners at the top.  There is a space carved out of the bottom of the back to ensure comfort.  The seat is circular and cushioned.  The front legs of the chair are placed at 90 degree angles while the rear legs are slightly arched back.

•    The Large Pedestal Table.  The table is held up by only one leg.  A chrome, black, or white linoleum base, supports this leg.  The top of the table is simply circular in appearance and constructed from lightly colored birch.